You are on page 1of 6

Pragmatics 7 Outline: A. Recap B. Conceptual metaphors C. Classification of metaphors A.

Recap Face, positive/negative face Politeness strategies Negative vs positive politeness

(2) Jane lives in a cottage at the foot of the mountain Anomaly: ........................................................................................................ Non-literal meaning: ...................................................................................... (3) Sam is a pig Anomaly: ........................................................................................................ Non-literal meaning: ...................................................................................... (4) Marie is sitting at the head of the table Anomaly: ........................................................................................................ Non-literal meaning: ...................................................................................... Q: How do such non-literal meanings come about? -> 3 answers: Answer 1) when the hearer notices that some expressions like the ones in (1-4) are 'bizarre' when understood literally, he uses inferences in order to derive the non-literal interpretation within the context in which the sentence is uttered Answer 2) many such 'bizarre' expressions can be interpreted as comparisons between two entities: (5) My car is a lemon. = My car is like a lemon or (6) Dr Jones is a butcher = Dr Jones is like a butcher. Answer 3) George Lakoff and Mark Johnson - the book Metaphors We Live By (1980) Metaphor - usually regarded - as a stylistic device used in literary texts, poetry, etc. - as an instance of extraordinary rather than ordinary language

B. Conceptual Metaphors 1. Introduction Focus: figurative or non-literal meaning: in metaphors (1) Frank is a young philosopher. Frank is a chauvinistic pig.

Non-literal meaning used to be regarded as less principled and less rulegoverned than literal meaning But the study of metaphor has shown that: a) metaphors are very frequent in everyday language. b)The use of metaphor is not erratic, but follows certain principles. Activity 1: Briefly explain for each of the following sentences what it is about them that makes them anomalous if they are interpreted literally. Then describe what kind of intended non-literal meaning they convey. (1)' Frank is a snake in the grass Anomaly: ........................................................................................................ Non-literal meaning: ......................................................................................

- as something linked to language, not thought or action => most people think metaphors are not necessary BUT George Lakoff and Mark Johnson stress that metaphor is more than a stylistic device. - metaphor is very common in everyday life, - metaphors are not only encountered in language but also in thought and action. Today's lecture - focuses on the theory of conceptual metaphor proposed by Lakoff & Johnson = answer 3. Etymology of metaphor: meta = over & pherein = to carry' 2. Definition of metaphor: = a mental operation, reflected in language, in which speakers represent one abstract concept in terms of another more concrete concept. => the essence of metaphor is understanding and experiencing one kind of thing in terms of another. The concept ARGUMENT is involved in (7): (7) a. b. c. d. e. f. g. h. Your claims are indefensible. He attacked every weak point in my argument. His criticisms were right on target. I demolished his argument. I've never won an argument with him. You disagree? Okay, shoot! If you use that strategy, he'll wipe you out. He shot down all of my arguments.

The sentences in (7) reflect the conceptual metaphor ARGUMENT IS WAR In the conceptual system of speakers of English, the concepts argument and war are connected and this is reflected in the way they use language. Q: Why are conceptual metaphors used? Speakers use of a familiar area of knowledge, called the source domain, to understand an area of knowledge that is less familiar, the target domain. Source domain in (7).... Target domain in (7)..... The source domain is typically understood through our experience of the physical world around us. The concepts from the familiar source domain are placed in correspondence with concepts in the target domain in order to make the latter more accessible to human understanding. In (7): the more familiar concept of war is placed in correspondence with a more abstract concept - argument in order for us to understand the concept argument more easily. (5) My car is a lemon. (6) Dr Jones is a butcher. We know from our experience of the world, for example, that lemons are sour and that butchers can be messy and rough in their work. This familiar knowledge helps us understand the negative aspects of car ownership and medical practice via metaphor. 3. Main tenets of the L & J system: "Our ordinary conceptual system, in terms of which we both think and act, is fundamentally metaphorical in nature."

The examples in (7) are linguistic expressions which associate the abstract concept ARGUMENT to a more concrete concept - WAR. In our culture, arguing with someone is seen/represented as military war.

When we speak about language we use the following complex metaphor: Human thought processes are metaphorical - we represent one concept in terms of another concept NB! - "we don't just talk about arguments in terms of war. This metaphor is also present in the way we behave: - We see the person we are arguing with as an opponent. -We attack his positions and we defend our own. - We plan and use strategies. " - We can actually win or lose arguments. "Since communication is based on the same conceptual system that we use in thinking and acting, language is an important source of evidence for what that system is like." Q: Try to imagine a culture where arguments are not viewed in terms of war, but of dancing, where participants in an argument are seen as performers who compete in order to give the most beautiful performance. Would we view such opponents as arguing? C. Classification of metaphors 1) Structural metaphors: in this type of metaphors, one concept is represented in terms of another concept, without any constraint as to the concrete of abstract nature of either. In western cultures, time is conceptualised as a valuable commodity, whose waste should be avoided TIME IS A VALUABLE COMMODITY/TIME IS MONEY (8) a. b. c. d. e. Youre wasting your time. Theres little time left lets hurry. Come on, were running out of time. Sorry to take away some of your precious time... This project is not worth considering for a second. IDEAS or MEANINGS are OBJECTS. LINGUISTIC EXPRESSIONS ARE CONTAINERS. COMMUNICATION IS SENDING. = The speaker puts ideas ('objects') into words ('containers') and sends them to a hearer who takes the idea/object out of the words/containers (9) a. b. c. d. e. in words. f. g. h. It's hard to get that idea across to him. I gave you that idea. Your reasons came through to us. It's difficult to put my ideas into words. When you have a good idea, try to capture it immediately Try to pack more thought into fewer words. His words carry little meaning. The idea is buried in terribly dense paragraphs.

NB: The metaphors give us only a partial understanding of what the target concepts are because they hide other aspects of these concepts. => the metaphorical structuring is partial, not total. If it were total, one concept would actually be the other, not merely be understood in terms of it. For example, time isn't really money: e.g. - If you spend your time trying to do something and it doesn't work, you can't get your time back. - There are no time banks. Activity: Try to identify the structural metaphor in the sentences below: (A) Metaphor: ............................................................................... ........................ (a) John and Mary have come a long way together (b) Our lives have taken different paths (c) I think she will go far in life (d) We have come to a crossroads in our life

(B) Metaphor: ............................................................................... ........................ (a) Stop wasting my time (b) We can save time by taking this shortcut (c) This delay will cost us at least two hours (d) She always spends too much time shopping (C) Metaphor: ............................................................................... ........................ (a) Jane put in her two cents worth (b) John is rich in ideas (c) That book is a treasure trove of ideas (d) Mary has a wealth of new ideas More than one concrete source domain may be used to structure various aspects of a more abstract target domain, if that domain is important enough in the conceptual system of the language. (D) Metaphor: ............................................................................... ........................ (a) Johns theory gave birth to a new way of thinking about physics (b) He is the father of modern biology (c) Freds brainchild was that the moon is uninhabitable (d) Her ideas spawned a number of new approaches in research (e) That idea died off years ago (E) Metaphor: ............................................................................... ........................ (a) That idea died on the vine

(b) His ideas have finally come to fruition (c) That version of linguistics is an offshoot of an earlier theory (d) Linguistics is a field with many branches (e) Id like to plant a novel idea in your mind 2) Orientational metaphors organize a whole system of concepts - moods, quantities, virtues, emotions or reason in terms of oppositions related to spatial orientation: up-down, in-out, front-back, on-off, deep-shallow, central-peripheral, near-far. Such spatial orientations arise from the way our bodies function within our physical environment. HAPPY IS UP vs. SAD IS DOWN (9) a. b. c. d. Im feeling up. My spirits rose. Hes really low these days. I fell into a depression.

Activity: What are the conceptual metaphors related to the sentences below: ............................................... vs. ............................................ (10) a. Get up! b. He rises early in the morning. c. He dropped off to sleep. d. Hes under hypnosis. ............................................... vs. ............................................ (11) a. b. c. d. e. Hes at the peak of health. Hes in top shape. He fell ill. He came down with the flu. His health is declining.

............................................... vs. ............................................ (12) a. b. Lazarus rose from the dead. He dropped dead.

Our experiences with physical objects (especially our own bodies) give rise to ontological metaphors 3) Ontological metaphors enable us to view events, activities, emotions, ideas as physical entities and substances (similar to the actual physical objects in the real world). The term ontological is derived from the Greek root onta the things which exist -logy the science of . INFLATION IS AN ENTITY (18) a. Inflation is lowering our standard of living. b. Inflation is increasing every year. c. The negative aspects of inflation far outweigh the positive ones. d. Inflation is ruining our economy. e. We have to fight inflation or it will conquer us. The metaphor allows us to refer to inflation in each sentence as though it were a physical entity. LJ note that we can also use the metaphor to quantify it (b), identify a particular aspect of it (b), see it as a cause (d), and act with respect to it (e), etc. Container metaphors: treat abstractions as though they were physical containers of various kinds. Activity: Try to identify the relevant aspects of each ontological metaphor in each sentence below. (19) a. There were many runners in the race ................................................... b. Jack got into car racing as a young man

............................................... vs. ............................................ (13) a. b. c. d. My income rose last year. The number of errors he made is incredibly low. He is underage. If youre too hot, turn the heat down.

............................................... vs. ............................................ (14) a. b. c. d. Things are looking up. Things are at an all-time low. He does high-quality work. Her enthusiasm was ebbing.

............................................... vs. ............................................ (15) a. b. c. d. e. f. She has high standards. She is upright. She is an upstanding citizen. That was a low trick. I wouldnt stoop to that. That would be beneath me.

............................................... vs. ............................................ (16) The discussion fell to the emotional level, but I raised it back up to the rational plane. (17) He couldnt rise above his emotions. Our experience of spatial orientations gives rise to orientational metaphors (see above).

c. John and Mary are in love d. The girl fell into a deep depression Emotions are viewed as fluids that get heated or cooled within containers (20) a. b. c. d. e. When hearing about the libel, he blew his top. She was steaming with outrage. Let him simmer for a while, he deserves it. Ralph had an outburst of rage/laughter/despair. The demonstrators could not stifle their fury.

Personification = ontological metaphors where a physical /abstract entity is described as being a person (21) a. Life has cheated me. b. The experiment gave birth to a new theory in genetics. c. Cancer finally caught up with him. d. Inflation has attacked the foundation of our economy. e. Our biggest enemy right now is inflation.

Conclusions: - metaphors are rooted in physical and cultural experience; - they are not random, but systematic: all the metaphors involving UP are positive in some way or evoke general well-being => the various metaphors are coherent with each other - our conceptual system is metaphoric : we represent abstract concepts through other more accessible concepts Activity: Think of sentences that reflect the conceptual metaphor: LOVE IS A JOURNEY